2012 October 17
Courtesy Carolina Herrera View Gallery
(NEW YORK) Carolina Herrera’s bridal designs have that magic mix of romance, high fashion, and modernity that can make any woman swoon. Now, the entire universe is aware of her white-dress wonders, thanks to a gown she created for a little film called Twilight: Breaking Dawn. BY MARIA DENARDO
What is your favorite wedding moment of all time?
There is no one wedding moment above all others, but with four daughters, I have experienced so much joy in designing all of their dresses. Each was so unique, reflecting their different personalities.
What is your favorite bridal gown you’ve ever made?
I love all my wedding gowns, but my favorite is one that I designed for my first bridal collection shown in Astor Hall at the New York Public Library. The setting, the music, and the dress were all a fantasy. Diana Dewitt, who worked with me for many years, wore the dress.
Are brides embracing non-traditional dresses more so than ever before?
Women always come in and say they don’t want to be traditional brides, but they end up falling in love with very traditional dresses. They want to look demure and innocent. I think the non-traditional aspect of a dress can come from adding a touch of color. I had several dresses in my Spring 2013 collection that had some color. Ivy, a beautiful lace gown, has black and blue at the waist. Another dress that I love is Isabelle, a beautiful tulle gown with a touch of blush pink. If you are looking to add color in a discreet way, you can always sew something blue inside the dress.
Is strapless still your most popular style?
Strapless is very popular, but what is great about my bridal collection is I offer dress styles for every type of woman. I am so happy to see the long sleeve coming back.
What was the bridal industry like when you started, and how has it changed over the years?
The bridal industry has never stopped being a world of fantasy. Bridal dresses always have to be romantic, ethereal, and also demure in a very sophisticated way. I think brides, and of course retailers, love to have a dress with details and lush and beautiful fabric with a perfect finish.
Tell us about the first custom bridal gown you ever designed!
The first custom bridal gown I designed was for Caroline Kennedy in 1986. I made her an organza dress with shamrocks appliquéd to the bodice, stitched inside the full skirt and sprinkled on the veil. Shamrocks were her father’s favorite. It was the right dress for Caroline, and you knew that from the moment she put it on. Caroline was the only one involved in the design process. Her mother did not see it until the day the gown arrived in Hyannisport. I have always thought the fewer people a bride has present when she tries on a dress, the better. It is always important to find what you feel comfortable in. After all, it is your day.
What’s the Carolina Herrera bride asking for?
Something sophisticated, elegant, and feminine. She is looking for a dress that will make her feel special on her wedding day!
How did the wedding gown you designed for Twilight affect your business?
It was such an honor to be asked by Stephenie Meyer to design the gown for Twilight. I knew all about the Twilight phenomena and the excitement surrounding the dress. Many women have contacted the boutiques because the dress is so special and different. There are two yards of Chantilly lace used on the back of the gown and the sleeves. There are 152 covered buttons on the back and 17 on each sleeve. It really is a couture piece.
What’s the most challenging part of being a bridal dress designer?
Every season you need to translate what’s traditional into what’s modern. I like clear lines and touches of embroidery or lace. You have to make the design timeless because those pictures will live forever. It is important as a bridal designer to stay true to the woman that comes into your store to find the perfect dress.
What’s the one thing every bride needs?
A dress that reflects her personality and style. I think many brides come in with an idea of what they want and have dreamed of, but I would advise them to go with what looks best on them the day of their fitting. The bride should wear a dress that makes her feel confident and beautiful, which will in turn give her that glow that every bride deserves on her special day.
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